Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by excess pressure on the median nerve in the wrist. Patients complain of numbness and tingling in the hand. Repetitive motions such as manual labor, knitting, and other similar activities can cause carpal tunnel syndrome. The conservative method of treating carpal tunnel syndrome is a program using wrist splints, anti-inflammatory medicines, physical therapy, and sometimes ultrasound guided steroid injection. Patients who fail these measures would routinely in the past, be sent for surgery requiring a two to six week recovery, assuming no complications.
A new technique for carpal tunnel release using ultrasound guidance and a small needle with a special thread has been shown to work as effectively as standard surgical treatment but with many fewer complications and virtually no down time. The Guo brothers, who were practicing orthopedic surgeons at the prestigious Beijing University Hospital, in their native China, collaborated with another brother, an expert in materials bioscience at Northwestern University, to develop this unique method.
Dr. Danqing Guo and his brother Danzhu, report: “We wanted to design a method for carpal tunnel release that would be simple, painless, and would allow people to recover immediately. Our brother, Joe, who completed a PhD in materials bioscience at Northwestern, invented a very strong, flexible thread that he thought would have a medical application… and he was right. ”
Dr. Danqing Guo came to Maryland and taught Dr. Nathan Wei this ingenious method and already seeing amazing results. Patients are able to return to work within 24 hours.
The procedure uses a local anesthetic, a proprietary metal impregnated thread, and a specially designed needle to cut through the tough fibrous band that causes carpal tunnel syndrome. The needle and thread are manipulated using ultrasound guidance.
If you would like to learn more about the TCTR procedure and talk with one of our nursing staff, please click here to complete the online application.